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The 24-year-old says he is inspired by links to the Barcelona midfielder and believes his performances were starting to improve last season

Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen insists he is not weighed down by being compared to Xavi.

The 24-year-old was labelled as "the Welsh Xavi" by Brendan Rodgers during the 'Being: Liverpool' documentary in 2012.

Allen made 24 Premier League appearances last season, only 15 of which were starts, but the midfielder believes he is beginning to improve his performances and says he is flattered with comparisons to the Barcelona midfielder.

"For some people the Xavi comparison could probably be an albatross," Allen told reporters.

"It is some player to be compared to. I don't take things like that too seriously.

"Some people have maybe used that in a negative way, but, from my point of view, you have to look at it as something that should flatter you.

"It should inspire you to become as good as someone like that.

"I certainly felt the performance levels were getting back up to what I expect from myself and a level I can perform at."

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